For so long, mine was the lonely and vilified voice saying that the New York Times was doomed--vilified most hotly by people at the Times. But the end of the New York Times has now become a conventional forecast, taken up most recently by my friend Michael Hirschorn in the Atlantic.
I don't know of anyone now--at least anyone who isn't employed by the Times--who believes that the business, as currently organized and managed, can survive. If it had some chance of ignominiously limping along before the recession, that's gone with its entire advertising base in freefall.
Hirschorn's concise, by-the-numbers analysis is more precise: The Times could go out of business in May. That's when $400 million of the Times' $1 billion in debt comes due--and it only has $46 million in the bank.
Hirschorn remains, however, a Times believer, or a believer in the thing the Times represents--some DNA that he sees being preserved and having a future in the new world.
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